Whole human design : designing for Humans, not Users
Author(s)Klein, Alex C.(Alex Charles)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program.
System Design and Management Program.
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In the past ten years, the Human-Centered Design methodology has exploded--permeating our organizational and academic worlds and becoming one of the most sought-after skills. The user-first mantra has become widely accepted and internalized. Develop empathy! Find users in their natural habitat! Design for their needs, not yours! Despite its vast popularity, I believe there is a great flaw and irony in the way we practice Human-Centered Design today: without the human. Though a human perceives his/her life as a dynamic whole (Gestalt Theory), we reduce him/her to a 'user', a shard of his/her full Self. This thesis explores the foundations of a new methodology, Whole Human Design[superscript TM], that seeks to re-unify the human and equip us to design for users in the context of their whole humanness. To that end, this thesis first seeks a usable definition of the Human and our human needs, by exploring a wide range of philosophical and psychological perspectives-from material/atomistic definitions (like those found in Behaviorism) to Phenomenology-inspired definitions (Existentialism, Humanistic Psychology, Positive Psychology) to Religious perspectives. From there, based on an ethnographic research with 50 individuals, this thesis introduces a design framework, the Periodic Table of Human Elements[superscript TM], a tool to connect functional and latent needs of a user to his/her deeper human roots. Finally, in order to illustrate how this methodology can be practiced, this thesis presents a case study of how Whole Human Design was used to solve a $300B real-world problem, medication adherence.
Thesis: S.M. in Engineering and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, System Design and Management Program, 2018Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 134-136).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program; System Design and Management Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering and Management Program., System Design and Management Program.